Welcome to Week 1 of college football. This weekly series starts with the preseason AP Top 25 Poll.
The AP voters released this poll on August 15, and the Week 0 games did not have any bearing on this week’s rankings.
- Alabama (54)
- Ohio State (6)
- Georgia (3)
- Notre Dame
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- NC State
- Michigan State
- Miami (FL)
- Ole Miss
- Wake Forest
Where is UNC?
- The North Carolina Tar Heels received a handful of votes but did not have enough to crack the top 25. By voting totals, UNC is No. 39.
- Carolina was ranked on two ballots, one at No. 20 and another at No. 23.
- There was a clear dividing line between No. 25 and the next team. BYU earned 234 votes and captured the last spot in the Top 25. Tennessee was the next highest in votes at 180. This 54-point gap is large but is not an overwhelming obstacle.
- Iowa completely imploded in last year’s Big Ten Championship game versus Michigan, then lost the Citrus Bowl by a field goal. Despite returning a good number of players, including starting quarterback and all three linebackers, the Hawkeyes are unranked.
- The prognosticators are high on Texas A&M. The Aggies are the only team in the top 10 that did not tally a double-digit win total last season and are the highest-ranked team that did not end last year in the final Top 25 poll. That win over Alabama in 2021 is still earning TAMU some love.
- Southern California is the only team in the poll with a losing record last season. With some big transfers, the pollsters are high on new head coach Lincoln Riley.
On the Outside Looking In
- As mentioned above, Tennessee and Iowa received votes and are No. 26 and No. 28, respectively.
- Is Texas back? The Longhorns are ranked No. 18 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, and unranked in the AP Poll. BYU and Texas are the only teams that are only in one of the two major polls.
- Penn State is the last team within striking distance of the Top 25. Redshirt senior quarterback Sean Clifford can be the difference-maker for the Nittany Lions.
Top 25 Conference Breakdown
- ACC: 5 teams
- American: 2 teams
- Big Ten: 4 teams
- Big 12: 3 teams
- Independent: 2 teams
- Pac-12: 3 teams
- SEC: 6 teams
Top 25 Games this Week
- The top billing this week is No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Ohio State. The Irish travel to Columbus for the primetime game Saturday. Vegas does not think it will be close as the Buckeyes are 17.5-point favorites.
- Saturday afternoon No. 23 Cincinnati heads down to Fayetteville to take on No. 19 Arkansas. The Razorbacks are favored by just six points.
- No. 24 Houston is just a four-point favorite over UT San Antonio. This has the makings of a high-scoring game in the Alamodome.
- No. 7 Utah heads to The Swamp this weekend. The Utes are favored by only a field goal over unranked Florida.
- If you are looking for a party, head to East Carolina this weekend. High noon in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium could be trouble for the visiting Wolfpack. Dave Doeren has never won in Greenville, and NC State has not won there since 2007.